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a photo of a Cync Decorative Smart Bulb in a sconce on a home.

GE Lighting's Cync Direct Connect Smart Lights Review

GE Lighting’s smart lighting lineup doesn’t need a hub to provide the perfect smart lighting design for your smart home.

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We remember when smart lights use to come with hubs so you could control them remotely from anywhere in the world. The hub would connect the smart lights to the Internet using your home Wi-Fi network. Today, there are a few good reliable smart lighting systems that do not require a hub for you to control them remotely. Over the past few months, we have been testing one well-known brand’s smart lights that do not require a hub. It’s GE Lighting’s Cync Direct Connect, and we like how they perform. Here is what we learned from testing these smart lights in a real home.

What are Cync Direct Connect smart lights?

Cync Direct Connect Smart Bulb unboxed on a countertopCync Direct Connect Smart Bulb, soft white unboxed.GearBrain

Cync Direct Connect are smart LED bulbs, light strips, and decorative bulbs made by GE Lighting. You might remember GE’s original smart lights, C by GE. After the company was sold to Savant, they rebranded the smart lighting line as well as new smart devices, like switches and smart thermostats under the Cync brand. All these new smart devices work on a Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) connection and do not require a hub. For our review, we tested the Direct Connect Decorative Full-color G25 LED Bulb (60W Replacement) that works on either a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection and has a medium base (E26).

These decorative Cync smart bulbs come with warm amber light tones (2000k) and color flush tones (7000k). These smart lights support sleep/wake cycles and are made for indoor use. They also have a rated life of 15,000 hours.

As we stated before, one of the best features we like with Direct Connect is there is no need for a hub to operate these smart lights. If you want to control your smart lights from anywhere, just connect them to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Once connected, you will have out-of-home control and can set schedules or create scenes from anywhere using the free Cync app. The Cync app is available on App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Though we tested the Direct Connect Decorative Smart LED with color lights, you can also get soft white, tunable white, full color, and full color decorative clear smart lights in all shapes and sizes. There are smart light strips and small chandelier-size smart bulbs. Just make sure you have 120V power going to the lamp or light fixture.

Cync app setting a device upIn Cync app, you will setup for each Cync device with its name and assign a room and group. You will also need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network GearBrain

How to set up these smart lights?

The setup for Cync’s Direct Connect smart lights is simple. First, screw in your bulb or plug in your light strips. Next, download the Cync app and follow the setup process in the app. Note you will need to be within 40 feet of your Cync smart bulb or light strip when connecting to the app. Once you are connected to the bulb and your home Wi-Fi, you can start to set up scenes and automation. Plus, you can connect the Direct Connect bulbs to either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice platforms.

Smart Home Integrations

Cync Direct Connect smart lights are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant ecosystems. You can connect your smart lights to these smart speakers and displays from the Cync app. Once you connect the apps, you will be able to use voice commands to control your Cync Direct Connect smart lights. Note when setting up these voice commands, make sure you use an easy-to-remember and say naming convention for your Cync lights. This makes it easier for your voice assistant devices to understand your voice commands.

a screen shot of the settings screen in Cync appCync app settings is where you set up your rooms, schedules, routines, voice integrations and more.GearBraiin

How much do Direct Connect lights cost?

The cost of Direct Connect smart lights varies by bulb type. Besides general purposes LED bulbs, Cync Direct Connect lights are available in BR30, Outdoor Par38, and decorative bulbs. For our test, the Cync Direct Connect Decorative LED G25 Smart Bulb (E26) is $45.02 for a two-pack and is available online at Lowe’s, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. Other Cync Direct Connect decorative bulbs available are in Edison, Globe, and Candelabra sizes. The price of these smart bulbs ranges from a low of $12.25 per bulb up to slightly over $31 per bulb. And the smart Direct Connect light strips will range from $24.97 for a single light strip up to $89.99 for a 16-foot indoor light strip and extensions for only $14.97 per light strip.

Are Cync Direct Connect bulbs expensive? When you compare Cync Direct Connect’s line of smart lights to other smart light brands that don’t require a hub (like Lifx, Sengled, and TP-Link’s Kasa brand), Cync’s brands are priced competitively however Cync has the biggest selection of smart decorative lights. Only Philips Hue has an equal number of choices for you to choose from, but you will need a hub with Hue smart lights.

a screenshot of Cync app showing the edit screen of a device and a successful connecting with the bulb and Alexa.Cync app is where you will connect your Cync lights with voice platforms like Alexa.GearBrain


We’ve tested the Cync Direct Connect Smart LED bulbs in a real home with normal connectivity. We had no issues with connecting the smart lights to our home wi-fi network. We did experience some issues with setting up schedules for our Direct Connect bulbs. It seemed the Cync app was not recognizing one of our bulbs. We had to reset the bulbs and set them up again. Once completed, we were able to get the bulbs to work together.

We also tested setting up the voice commands for Alexa and Google Assistant. We found the Google Assistant integration worked better for us. Not sure why, but we had fewer issues with commands using our Google Nest Hub smart display.

Lastly, we tested using the Decorative Direct Connect bulbs on sconces outside our test home. Now the Cync bulbs are indoor smart lights and not recommended for outdoor use. However, we tested them outside since we encased the bulbs inside the scones on the front of our test house. They looked great and worked well. And they had held up in the extremely cold weather we have been having which is nice.

a photo of the outside of a house and sconce with Cync Direct Connect Smart Bulb insideWe tested using Cync Direct Connect Decorative Bulb outside in a sconce. It worked perfectly and we had no connectivity issues.GearBrain


GE Lighting has been making quality lighting for generations and with the emergence of smart lighting, they are continuing this heritage with Cync. Granted they have a new owner, but they seem to be continuing to make quality smart lights to meet your demands. The Cync Direct Connect is a good product and we would recommend you consider them if in the market for smart lights of any shape or size. They are easy to set up and can easily be integrated into either Amazon Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant-run smart homes. And with Matter, a new wireless protocol coming soon, users will be able to add these smart lights to their systems no matter which voice platform they use in their smart home.

Until then, Cync Direct Connect smart lights are a good addition to any smart home. And if you want to start building a smart home, Cync has other smart devices, like smart switches, plugs, sensors, cameras, and even a smart thermostat which can all work together in one app. Thus, providing you with a DIY smart home that offers unified control for all your devices. This is something all smart homes are trying to achieve in the new year.


  • Cost
  • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa-enabled Devices
  • No hub required


  • The app had spotty connectivity
Check out The GearBrain, our smart home product find engine to see the other compatible products that work with Cync smart devices as well as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

How to Find Products in The GearBrain, Our Compatibility Find Engine for Smart DevicesGearBrain helps simplify the Internet of Things or new connected devices for consumers. The GearBrain is the first and only ...

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